The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

April 10, 2013

Jury indict nurse in death of Bill Norman

By Justin Jones, Staff Writer

Wednesday, April 10, 2013 — The nurse who was charged last December in the death of a former Stanly County radio personality has been indicted on those charges of first-degree assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature.

Janet Kupka, 54, was indicted before a grand jury in Horry County in South Carolina last week following the death of Bill Norman, former owner and operator of WSPC & WZKY Radio in Albemarle.  

Norman was a patient at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center following a stroke he had suffered days before his death.

Kupka was arrested in December for allegations that Norman was over medicated.

As reported in a prior edition of The Stanly News & Press, Capt. David Knipes of the Myrtle Beach Police Department (MBPD) provided a copy of the affidavit.

Within the affidavit, an unnamed witness’ testimony reveals an account from that night in the hospital.

“The victim (Norman) was a patient at the hospital and was receiving four mg. of morphine every half hour. A quantity of the morphine was stockpiled to make a larger dose.

“The witness observed the defendant in the victim’s room administering something to the victim’s I.V.

“The defendant (Kupka) then told the witness she had given the victim 20 mg. of morphine, which is a dose much higher than prescribed and possibly life threatening.”

“Later (on) the same date, the witness observed the defendant go into another patient’s room and come out with a bottle and tubing that contained Diprivan and go into the victim’s room.”

According to the witness, moments later Norman’s health monitor sounded. The report showed that the witness told police Kupka had given Norman the drug Diprivan. A short time later, Norman died on Oct. 14.

Kupka’s license was suspended on Dec. 13, 2012, until further notice by the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

To submit story ideas, contact Justin Jones at jljones or (704) 982-2121 ext. 24.